Valley duo on form as Tykes shine

Calder Valley's Ben Mounsey running for Yorkshire
Calder Valley's Ben Mounsey running for Yorkshire

Calder Valley Fell Runners’ Ben Mounsey and Jo Buckley produced excellent performances for Yorkshire after they were selected to race in the Inter-Counties Fell Running Championships.

Many of the finest fell runners travelled to Broughton in Scotland to compete over a tough 6.5 mile course with 2300 feet of climbing made even more difficult by the wet and windy conditions.

Surrey’s international star, James McMullan, took first place in 47:33 from Chris Smith of Middlesex by just over a minute.

Scotland’s Robbie Simpson was third with Great Britain international and pre-race favourite Andi Jones only managing fourth place. Jones did have something to celebrate though with Greater Manchester taking the team honours from Yorkshire who were a close second. Leeds City’s Adam Osbourne led the charge for Yorkshire with a sixth place finish in 49:10. He was backed up by in-form team mates Tom Adams and Mounsey, who pushed each other all the way, finishing in ninth and 11th place respectively.

Olivia Walwyn of Cheshire dominated the lady’s race to win in 56:03 from Tracy Brindley, who led her Scotland compatriots to team gold in 56:49.

Todmorden Harrier’s Lauren Jeska, represented Lancashire and finished third in 57:59 to lead her county to team silver in front of arch rivals Yorkshire, who had to settle for bronze. Calder’s Jo Buckley was the star performer, leading her team home in sixth place overall in 59:16, backed up by Holmfirth’s Katie Walshaw, in eighth, and Helene Whitaker of Ilkley Harriers finishing 16th.

Three of Calder Valley Fell Runners lady super vets travelled competed in the challenging three mile Saddleworth fell race.

The short hilly route climbs sharply to the obelisk of Pots and Pans on Alderman Hill before a very steep grassy descent retraces the outward route to the finish.

Calder’s Sally Newman was first lady and with team mates Linda Crabtree and Thirza Hyde packing in well behind, the Lady Vet 50s landing the team prize from host club Saddleworth. This was all the more impressive considering Newman is racing after an injury threatened to stop her running altogether; Crabtree was racing in Calder colours for the first time in two years after a serious operation and Hyde was back after suffering from knee problems.

Bill Johnson was the solo male Calder representative, who climbed well despite recent achilles problems only to lose a dozen places after a painful tumble on the descent. Todmorden’s top man Sean Carey had no such problems as the in-form teenager eased to another race victory.

Following promotion to Division Three West last season, Halifax Harriers Senior Men and Women competed in Match One at Wavertree, Liverpool.

Highlight for the women was the double success in the 200m. Louise Royston came first in the ‘A’ race in a time of 27.6 seconds with Holly Martin first in the ‘B’ race in 28.3 seconds.

Royston was second in the 400m in 62.4 seconds and Martin second in the ‘B’ 100m in 13.7 seconds.

Helen Roby ran a strong 3000m to finish third in 12:04.6 while Alice Gilchrist made her debut in the 800m and recorded 2:58.0.

The 4 x 400m ladies team consisting of Claire Ryan, Holly Martin, Bonnie Rowntree and Louise Royston ran 4:42.2 to finish second behind Liverpool Harriers.

In the male section, Kieran Royston ran an impressive 52.7 seconds in the 400m, with Jack Mosley coming second in the ‘B’ race. Paul Willis was second in the triple jump with 11.44 metres and second in the long jump with 5.12 metres.

In the mens hammer ‘A’ group, Ciaron Nieuwstad was second with 24.69 metres and Brett West came second in the ‘B’ group in the hammer and discus.

Versatile sprinter, George Heath, competed in seven events including a win in the 110m hurdles ‘B’ race and he also backed up Paul Sutcliffe in the 5000m.

Results: 1st Liverpool Harriers 408: 2nd Wirral A.C 349: 3rd Manchester Harriers 311: 4th Warrington A.C 280: 5th Halifax Harriers 256: 6th Macclesfield 136.